As an online entrepreneur, there are certain business tools that truly shape the way I’m able to do business. They make me more productive, help me to establish systems and processes, and allow me to work smarter instead of harder.
Truth be told, I would be lost without them. Yes, suffice it to say… I’m addicted. So read this article with caution knowing that you will likely become addicted to these resources as well.
Dropbox is a free service that lets you store all your photos, docs and videos online, and then access them from any device using your secure username and password. You can also share your folders with others, making it a perfect solution for team collaboration and eliminating the hassle of not being able to email large files.
Think of Evernote like a digital binder that you can access from anywhere. Each binder (or notebook) can have multiple tabs, and each tab can have multiple pages. You can add a wide variety of things to your notebooks including your own notes, screen shots from web pages, audio notations and more. It’s a great organizational tool and since notebooks can be shared with others, it’s a great collaboration tool as well.
Because I travel so much, I often don’t have time to sit down and type out email responses. My solution? Respond to emails via the ‘Say It And Mail It’ iPhone app. It’s quick and clever, and allows me to get more done with less hassle. The easy-to-use interface makes it simple to record a voice memo and email it, saving me time and increasing my productivity.
This amazing tool takes the ambiguity out of communication, again serving as a great time saver. With Jing I can take a screenshot of my computer, add details, notes and instructions, and send it to my team. In addition, I can also create screen-capture videos, up to 5 minutes in length, and share those as well. This is a free tool that is super easy to use, but the options don’t end there. If you want to create videos that are longer than 5 minutes, or you want additional editing features for your screen captures, then I highly recommend Jing’s big brother, SnagIt. It’s not free, but it does take the functionality to a whole new level.
When it comes to managing my social media accounts, I can’t imagine living without Hootsuite. It allows me to manage all my various social media accounts from one place, schedule updates in advance, update to multiple profiles at once, and measure my social media results. And when I travel, I have the advantage of using their mobile app so I never miss a social media beat.
This free service provides an easy method for people to see your availability and request a meeting with you, while also protecting the actual details in your calendar. With their simple to use interface, you create a “MeetMe” page, connect your personal calendar (iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook), and share your link. When someone clicks the link, they can see your availability and request a meeting. Doodle will then send you an email so that you can accept, decline or suggest a new time. Doodle is a great time saver that makes scheduling simple.
Following up is such an important aspect of business, but without the right tools it can be difficult to manage. FollowUp takes the complexity out of the equation by providing an easy to use platform that integrates with your email and automates the follow-up process. Have you ever sent an email and needed to remember to follow up and make sure you got a response? FollowUp “remembers” for you by automating the process. As a busy, traveling entrepreneur, this app is my follow-up lifesaver.
Workflowy is a phenomenal tool for organizing your thoughts and collaborating with your team. Much like a mindmap, Workflowy allows me to capture my thoughts in a grouped fashion, so that I can have lists with sub-lists and easily track what I’ve completed and what I have yet to do. Simple in concept, yet completely dynamic in application, this is another tool that I’ve become completely addicted to.
With Join.me’s free service you can share your screen with up to 250 participants, engage in live conversation using their internet calling feature, utilize chat functionality and send files to participants. There’s even more bells and whistles with the paid version, but it does lack the ability to record calls. The free version more than meets my needs and is a tool I use almost daily.
Remember, you were warned. So now you too can become addicted to these amazing tools which will truly increase your productivity and enhance your life as an online entrepreneur.